Requesting a NASA Flyby!

    The Challenge

    Develop visualizations to provide NASA with new insights into airborne flights missions.


    NASA’s Airborne Science Program (ASP) provides aircraft systems that further science and advance the use of satellite data. These highly-modified, innovative aircraft support:

    • Testing and refinement of new sensor technology and components
    • Calibration and validation of data from Earth-observing satellites
    • Collection of air samples and in situ data that support Earth system models and satellite data processing
    • Development of the next generation of scientists and engineers

    Your challenge is to analyze ASP flight tracks and path data and visualize the data in two or three dimensions!  You can track the current status of NASA flights using the Asset Tracker, and access flight tracks from previous flights here.  


    For your challenge, you may consider the following examples as you develop your visualizations:

    • Create 2D or 3D time series animations of various flights over time. 
    • Create a time series for particular aircrafts like the ER-2, Global Hawk, Gulfstream III, or the Ikhana, and where they've flown over the years.
    • Pick sensors aboard Earth-observing satellites, for example, MODIS on Aqua or Terra satellite missions, and show how many times their measurements cross with airborne data in the same area.
    • Create a 3D model of the aircraft and show them flying along the tracks in real time.
    • Use instrument specifications (see Airborne Science Program Instrument database) and payload locations on the aircraft to model and visualize the viewing geometry of different payloads during data collection.  Not every instrument entry will include the specifications required for accurate precise view reconstruction/simulation. Because there are so many different types of instruments flying at different altitudes and view angles, a useful tool should enable the user to specify those types of variables rather than having an application fixed to a single instrument/platform.
    • Use the NASA flight plan system and data about air quality information gaps to show where air quality can be improved via aircraft systems.  Or pick another environmental parameter, like sea ice.
    Come up with your own ideas!
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    SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.